Doug's Darkworld

War, Science, and Philosophy in a Fractured World.

Posts Tagged ‘Earth mysteries

The Strangest thing I Ever Saw

with 7 comments


No, this picture wasn’t it. I suspected it might be an explanation for what I saw, but I don’t think so now. I digress. I’ve had a handful of experiences in my life for which I have found no really satisfying explanation. A lot of people have had similar, I’ve certainly heard a few stories in my time. And since I find mysteries fascinating, I will share the few I’ve experienced. Partly just for fun, partly to show that mysterious things do happen, and partly in hopes that someone says “I know what you saw!” So far no one has even come close with this one, I’m still baffled and it happened over twenty years ago.

So, 1990 or so, Washington State. A friend and I were camping for the weekend and drove around much of Saturday looking for an open campground. We eventually found a place where we could park the car, and hike down into a canyon with a nice secluded camping area by a stream. While people obviously went there occasionally, there was sort of a path down the hill, there was no one there that weekend. There were a lot of old cans and bottles from the 1930s scattered about, someone had spent a summer or two camped there back then. It really was a sweet spot, but you couldn’t drive to it and it was hard to find. We got lucky.

There was a well trodden game trail along the creek, just fine for humans. A few feet wide, packed earth surface. We were car camping, not backpacking, so we had to make several trips up and down the canyon side to get our stuff to the campsite. It was afternoon in the shade, but full summer, and even in the canyon it was still full daylight. Ahead of me on the path as I’m walking I see something. It was maybe an inch tall or so, and it was solid white. I couldn’t make out its shape, this all happened very quickly.  I saw it on the trail, then it opened a little trapdoor, popped into the hole, and pulled the trapdoor shut. I was surprised, but stared at the spot where it had disappeared as I walked up, and poked around with a stick. I didn’t find anything but solid packed earth. I was puzzled, but didn’t know what else to do. I seem to recall thinking that it must have been a big bug of some sort, but it was pure white, I’d never seen a white bug.

And that’s the story. I recently did some research on trapdoor spiders, and the image above made me wonder if I’d seen one of them, and somehow the white of the trapdoor was the white I had seen, the incident did happen very fast. Alas, from what I can tell, trapdoor spiders aren’t found anywhere above central California. That pretty much rules them out. I’ve never heard of a big white bug that has a trapdoor in the ground, but who knows. Ring a bell with any reader? Is there any sort of bug or animal that fits this bill? I’d love to hear about it.

There is always the possibility that this never happened, or at least not the way I am remembering. Science has shown that memory is a very sketchy thing, and easily modified or induced. Maybe I dreamed this for example, I often have vivid dreams when camping. It seems odd to me now that I didn’t investigate further at the time, it was right outside the camp. On the other hand, I can see myself deciding to leave it be,  since I wouldn’t want to hurt it by scraping around looking for it … whatever it was. We all have false memories, and we all misremember things. Memory is a story we tell ourselves.

Lastly, I suspect it’s experiences like this that have seeded, so to speak, a lot of folklore through the ages. It wouldn’t be too hard to convince myself I had seen a humanoid figure, heck, I’d be lying if I said I was sure it wasn’t. In earlier times when the world was more mysterious, the idea that there were other humanoids living around us wouldn’t be all that odd, why not? And the brain, our wonderful human brain, is a pattern recognizer. The best ever in fact, there’s thinking that this is one of the things that makes us uniquely human. And in many cases, it works too well, and sees patterns that aren’t even there. Jesus on a piece of toast nowadays, back then fairies and elves in the woods. And Gods?

(The image above is claimed as Fair Use under US copyright law. Credit and copyright: Darlene. I met a perfectly sober fellow once who claimed he had met and talked to a leprechaun for lack of a better word, I’ll post on that some day.)


Written by unitedcats

July 10, 2013 at 7:08 am

Marginal Thoughts

with 8 comments

I actually really appreciate the comments I get in here, they’ve really helped refine my view of the world and how people think. And it’s not unknown for one to make me re-evaluate my position, though the opposite is more common. And the comments come in for years on some posts, someone new wanders across a post and feels the need to add their two cents. And it’s also not unusual for a comment to inspire me to add codicils, caveats, and explanations to my original post. Which is sorta where this is headed.

An esteemed commenter the the other day claimed I was “debunking” Ancient Alien claims, though to be fair I believe his comment was more tongue-in-cheek than not. I don’t think of myself as a debunker, in fact I find most skeptics as annoying as most true believers. Sometimes though, stuff is bunk. And if it’s bunk, it should be called so. And “La Puerta de Hayu Marka” is bunk. One of the most fascinating things about it though was the fact that any number of Ancient Aliens web sites had simply copied and passed the exact same drivel without any attempt to verify it. And one wonders why I tend to be cautious about tales involving paranormal or supernatural events?

In fact, go back and look at the picture of the stargate. That picture is touted as being in this remote location. Then look at the ground in front of the “stargate.” Um, a lot of people obviously wander around there, it’s a well trampled as a typical high school beer drinking spot in the woods. And then there’s the stone wall in the foreground. Um, pretty obviously not ancient. Granted I missed all this at first pass myself, and bought the “remote location” nonsense. Just goes to show ya, something can be as plain as the nose on one’s face, but it can still be missed.

Moving right along, comments continue to be left on my Dyatlov Pass Incident post. And I’ve noticed a common theme. People who want to discredit my hypothesis, or promote their own, pick and chose the details they think are important to bolster their case. And frequently focus on details that “discredit” my hypothesis. And they can be very very serious about this. And oddly enough, I observe pretty much the same pattern in people touting belief in God or promoting the conspiracy theory of their choice. Which sadly reinforces what scientists have discovered the past few decades, most people aren’t interested in actual debate, they are simply arguing their side of the issue. If one picks and chooses what details are important, any theory can be supported.

Granted not a terribly astute or original observation, and by no means am I generalizing it to all people. And I’m sure I’m guilty of the same, at least to some degree. On the other hand, I don’t seem to reach the firm conclusions (in most cases) that others seem to reach. And I am usually happy to concede that I might be wrong. Or at the very least am open to new argument. So back to Dyatlov. In this case despite the plethora of comments, I still think the case has a perfectly mundane explanation. Some combination of panic, hypothermia, and paradoxical undressing. Maybe triggered by an avalanche, maybe triggered by some sort of military test gone awry. My last point here is regarding the comment about some of them being very experienced snow campers. Um, so what? Experienced people may be less likely to make mistakes than novices, but every day experienced people make fatal mistakes. Hell, I’ll write a blog post about it someday, ten fatal mistakes made by people who should have known better.

Lastly, a case where comments have made me re-evaluate my position. That would be the Moorgate Tube Crash. Upon further reflection and comments, maybe the explanation is even more mundane than suicide. Maybe the driver just fell asleep. People can and do fall asleep sitting up with their eyes open, I can attest to that from my guard duty days in the service. It’s also possible that the driver was just really lost in thought and distracted, it happens.

In conclusion, there is no conclusion.

(The above image is claimed as Fair Use under US copyright law. Credit and copyright:  Nathan Alexander, Wikipedia. It’s a sailing rock on a dry lake bed in Death Valley. It’s called a sailing rock, because, well, from the tracks, one can see that it has moved. This was one of the more mundane Earth mysteries of my youth. Mundane in that while it hadn’t been explained, it was hard to see why supernatural forces were pushing rocks around. And when scientists investigated, they discovered the rocks only moved when the surface was wet and there was a good wind. And the rocks always moved in the direction the wind was blowing. Case closed, on to the next one. Maybe the little known case of the boulders rolling uphill in Scotland.)

Written by unitedcats

March 15, 2012 at 5:18 pm